On February 18, 2022, Lowell Observatory and the Orpheum Theater present A Night of Discovery, commemorating the anniversary of Clyde Tombaugh’s discovery of the icy world Pluto on February 18, 1930. This is the keynote event of the 3rd Annual I Heart Pluto Festival and takes place at the Orpheum Theater. Guests can mingle with world-renowned scientists, explore a space art exhibit, try their hands at Pluto-themed axe throwing with FlagTag AZ, and purchase a pint of special-edition Lowell Lager. The event’s main sponsor is The Runway, a coffeehouse by day, and a dance club by night.
Headlining A Night of Discovery will be a panel discussion that looks at our human fascination with exploration and discovery, from nearby nooks on Earth to the far reaches of the universe. Panelists include Donald Johanson, discoverer of the fossil hominid Lucy, Alan Stern (participating virtually), Principal Investigator of the New Horizons mission to Pluto and beyond, Nancy Currie-Gregg, astronaut who flew four times in space, Cathy Olkin, Deputy Principal Investigator of the Lucy mission to study asteroids, and Alden Tombaugh, son of Pluto discoverer Clyde Tombaugh. Jeffrey Hall, Lowell Observatory’s Director, will moderate the discussion. The program will be followed by a panelist book signing. Books as well as commemorative posters and other items for panelists to sign will be available for purchase onsite.
The International Astronomical Artists Association (IAAA) will display a variety of space-themed art throughout the Orpheum. The IAAA consists of artists and scientists-artists who implement and participate in astronomical and space art projects.
FlagTag AZ will also be on hand with their mobile axe throwing trailer, set up outside of the Orpheum from 5-6 p.m. See if you can discover “Planet X” by hitting the x that marks the spot!
Back by popular demand is a Pluto-themed beer crafted specially for the I Heart Pluto Festival by Mother Road Brewing Company, Arizona’s third largest independent craft brewer. This year’s beer is Lowell Lager, a craft American lager. Other drinks — both alcoholic and non-alcoholic — as well as food will be available for purchase throughout the evening. Findlay Toyota will also be on hand between 5-6 p.m., grilling hot dogs and hamburgers that will be free while supplies last.
Why hold this event at the Orpheum Theatre? Because Clyde Tombaugh watched a movie here on the night of his great discovery in 1930. Plus, the Orpheum accessibility, comfort, and old-time charm, make it a perfect venue.
(learn more at iHeartPluto.org!)
5-6 p.m. Doors open to public. Art and vendor displays; FlagAZ Axe Throwing
6-8:30 p.m. Programming
6-6:30 p.m. Welcome and introductions
6:30-8:30 p.m. Exploration and Discovery Panel Discussion
8:30-9:30 p.m. Book signing
The program will be followed by a panelist book signing. Books by several of the panelists, as well as commemorative posters and other items to be signed, will be available for purchase onsite.
Available at the door or in advance (see Orpheum website for details.) Cost is $10 per adult, $7 per youth ages 5-17 (plus tax and sales fee).